West Main Street ADC District
The West Main Street ADC District was created in 1996, and is only part of a locally designated district. It is not part of a State or National Register Historic District. This district includes properties along West Main Street from 14th Street to 5th Street SW.
West Main Street was part of a significant eighteenth-century Virginia transportation route, the "Three Notch'd Road" that connected the Tidewater to the Shenandoah Valley. It remains an important connection between the University of Virginia and Downtown. Early development included several stylish brick townhouses built by Jefferson's building James Dinsmore. Dinsmore purchased 13 lots in 1818 along the thoroughfare and constructed a series of brick townhomes.
Development continued along the corridor during the 1850s when the Virginia Central Railroad installed its tracks parallel to West Main Street, and the Union Station was constructed in 1885 by the C&O railroad. By the early twentieth-century, West Main Street was an important commercial center and the principal hotel district. This area also developed as the institutional core of Charlottesville's African-American community, including the Delevan and Ebenezer Baptist Churches and Jefferson School. Further east, Vinegar Hill was the African-American commercial center. By the early 1930's West Main Street was the principal east-west route through town, with twelve service stations and six car dealers. Activity on the corridor gradually declined mid-century with suburbanization. In recent years, two new hotels and the reuse of historic buildings have signaled renewed interest in this urban corridor.
West Main Street is a locally designated historic district, but is not listed as a district on the State or National Register of Historic Places.